Using a high draft pick on a running back typically is a dicey proposition for NFL teams, which is why most simply avoid doing so.
From 2011 to 2014, only one team selected a running back with a top-25 pick. That was Trent Richardson (third overall, 2012), and he, of course, turned out to be a massive bust.
Recently, though, that trend has shifted.
Todd Gurley (No. 10, 2015), Ezekiel Elliott (No. 4, 2016) and Leonard Fournette (No. 4, 2017) all were drafted in the top 10 in the last three years, and each proceeded to turn in a strong rookie season, with Gurley and Elliott both earning first-team All-Pro honors and Fournette surpassing 1,000 rushing yards.
The 2018 draft class features one back who could follow in that trio’s footsteps: Penn State’s Saquon Barkley.
Barkley is the consensusÂ No. 1 prospect at his position, and that’s not expected to change in the two-and-a-half months before draft day. He’s a near lock to come off the board in the top 10 and has been linked to the Indianapolis Colts at No. 3 in many mock drafts.
The former Nittany Lions star isn’t the only intriguing back in this year’s class, though. Click the link below for a look at WalterFootball.com’s top 15 running back prospects.